Today in church our pastor spoke about Jospeh… now Joseph is a character we all often forget about when it comes to the story of Jesus. We know he was a carpenter, he was Mary’s husband, and knocked on a whole lot of doors in Bethlehem and that’s pretty much it. We do not really acknowledge him besides that.. there are no songs about him, we don’t really know where to place him in the nativity scene, and he is just kind of there. But he went through something that surprisingly all of us go through. He was faced with the decision to either stay where he was at or to trust God and lead in love.
Imagine being in his shoes when Mary said “I’m pregnant, and it’s God’s son.” Ummmm that sounds insane. Absolutely insane. I can imagine Joseph freaking out and not believing Mary because I mean come on that’s a crazy statement!!! Back then it was not out of the ordinary for men to divorce their wives or stone them to death for sleeping around. And yes that’s what the towns people would have thought because how else would an unmarried girl become pregnant?! But Joseph being a kind and good man thought it through and decided to quietly break off the engagement.
*Side note, back in the day when two people became engaged, they were automatically considered husband and wife, and had to fill out of this paper work and what not. But they had to wait 12 months for the actual ceremony to take place before they could live together and really be husband and wife. So since society considered them to be husband and wife during this engagement period, if it was broken off then they would have to get divorced. Intense right?
Anyways he went to sleep that night, which was in itself probably filled with confusion, anger, and many tears…. but he had a dream where the angel of the lord appeared and told him exactly what Mary told him. The angel told him to not be afraid, to marry her, and to name him Jesus. Then without any hesitation Joseph ran to Mary and made her his wife.
Now that’s sweet and amazing, and “goals” but we don’t realize how hard that must have been… friends and family probably declined to go to the wedding, the people in town spoke behind their backs, and they eventually had to leave for the safety of themselves and this other worldly baby. That’s lonely. That’s hard. That’s unfathomable… and even after Jesus was born it was still difficult. When they left and came back people would still be talking about it. And Joseph!! Joseph would be working in his workshop while teaching Jesus his true and he notice how Jesus didn’t really look like him and knowing that this young boy was God made flesh. He probably would have flash backs of when Mary told him she was pregnant, when he almost didn’t marry her, and he and Mary had to go to Bethlehem just to give birth safely and she ended up giving birth in a dirty barn with animals all around. But through all of that he trusted God and was fully obedient to God.
Jospeh truly was a God filled man and an amazing step father. He loved Jesus as his own and taught him just as he would have his own biological son. He might not have said much in scripture but he DID so so much. He actions showed how devoted he was to God and how much he loved Mary and their family. Because honestly he could have easily said no and brushed off that dream. But instead he took the risk and let God lead him.
Joseph was loyal, obedient, and loving. He showed us that some of the decisions God calls us to make require risk, and sometimes it will cause people to talk and even lead to loneliness. Joseph truly taught us what it means to lead our family in love and walk in obedience.
So as we go to celebrate Christmas with loved ones remember to lead one another in love and obedience just as Joseph did. And remember to Live a life that is Happily Inked in God’s love.